Chuck Todd: We’re seeing a structural change in the race toward Romney

posted at 12:01 pm on October 15, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Bear in mind that Chuck Todd is using the WaPo/ABC poll from this morning for part of his analysis, and you can see just how bad things are going for Team Obama.   While I agree with Todd on the momentum shift, I’m not as sure it’s recent, but I do think the debate was indeed the big inflection point for the toplines of the polls.  Even before that debate, Mitt Romney routinely led among independents in polling outside the margin of error — and in a cycle where Republican enthusiasm outstrips that of the Democrats, that’s a powerful indicator how the race is going:

The Palm Beach Post notes that even Democratic pollsters are seeing post-debate momentum shift toward Romney:

new Florida poll by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling shows Mitt Romney edging President Obama in Florida by a 49-to-48 percent margin — a net gain of five points for the Republican nominee since a PPP poll in late September showed Obama with a 50-to-46 percent edge.

The poll shows independent voters breaking toward Romney since the end of September. Romney leads 51-to-43 percent among independents in PPP’s survey of 791 likely voters conducted Friday through Sunday. The poll has a 3.4 percent margin of error. Obama held a 51-to-40 lead among independents a few weeks ago, according to PPP.

“Mitt Romney has the momentum after his strong debate performance last week, but Barack Obama’s still very much in it,” says PPP President Dean Debnam.

I don’t think that Obama has lost the election yet, but there is only three weeks to go now.  This is when preference cascades begin to materialize, and usually away from the incumbent, who has had nearly four years to make the case for re-election.  Like Todd, I don’t think the subsequent debates are going to make much difference.  The key was always going to be the first debate, and whether Romney could make himself an acceptable alternative, and he succeeded far beyond anyone’s predictions.

Update: Reader Justin L says I missed Todd’s point about the debate:

In your Chuck Todd article you mistake which debates he’s talking about; watch the clip again–he’s not saying Obama can’t make it up, he’s saying IF Romney wins the debate tomorrow, Obama will not be able to make it up in the third debate.

Justin’s right; I misunderstood Todd to mean either of the next two debates.  I don’t think either candidate will have much room to move the needle tomorrow night, but that will be my topic for tomorrow’s column.


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If Mitt can come out of Tuesday debate with a solid win, it might be game over for Obama. Mitt won’t get the same blowout win he got before, but a solid win should do it.

Zaggs on October 15, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Let’s not discount the great possibility of an October surprise yet. You have to know that Axleshaft is digging hard. What if they come up with another lying batch like Anita Hill? What if the idiot Holder comes up with criminal charges against Bain with some kind of garbage charges? What if Axleshaft takes the copies of Governor Romney’s tax returns that someone at the IRS slipped him and gives them to the New York Times?

Ditto VP candidate Paul Ryan.

slickwillie2001 on October 15, 2012 at 1:33 PM

He’ll probably trash the inside of the White House before he leaves, like a lot of the people who got foreclosed on did here in Vegas.

SailorMark on October 15, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Why would Hussein be any different than Clinton?

riddick on October 15, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Hot Air is wonderfully fair & balanced: Allahpundit is Eeyore and Ed is Pollyanna.

KS Rex on October 15, 2012 at 1:39 PM

Let’s not discount the great possibility of an October surprise yet.
slickwillie2001 on October 15, 2012 at 1:33 PM

The October surprises that target Romney or Ryan are already “baked in the cake”, so to speak.

They tried the better ones over the summer in their desperation to sink Romney early.

The only thing left is for 0bama to begin military operations somewhere, or a terrorist attack. That last one could be blamed on the TEA party.

cozmo on October 15, 2012 at 1:39 PM

“Structurally” Obama has to find voters to make up for those that voted for him last time that are not voting for him this time. We don’t know if they are going to vote for Romney, they might just be pretending they don’t notice it is an election, I think there are a number of women voters who that applies to. They will take the kids to lacrosse/soccer/taekwndo and repress that it is election day. And if they no longer can afford those things, I don’t think you will see them hurrying to do Michelle Obama any favors.

Fleuries on October 15, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Romney campaign has yet to realize the “piling on” effect that accompanies an obvious shift of momentum the closer you get to election day. If he has a good night tomorrow, and is still ahead- more people will feel free and secure to stand more vocally behind the next POTUS- Super Mitt Romney.

To wit: Look how strongly the coal miners denounced Omarxist’s Lies about there ability to think for themselves. Ballsy. THIS will give others the courage to say what we all know.

FlaMurph on October 15, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Fleuries on October 15, 2012 at 1:41 PM

Your post feels right. I wouldn’t be surprised if turnout is down this year compared to 2008.

NotCoach on October 15, 2012 at 1:52 PM

OBAMA………COMEBACK KID.

Meme, set in stone. Old tired Media repeat as required.

PappyD61 on October 15, 2012 at 1:52 PM

I can respect the nervous nellies’ comments going into tomorrow night, but what is your basis regarding Mitt? He has been very steady since GOP debate #1. He will be prepared for the 47% question some ‘bot spews out, rest assured. Other than that, it is Mitt that has yet to play the F&F, Keystone, Benghazi devlopments, Obamatax, etc. cards–they are still resting in his hand.

hillsoftx on October 15, 2012 at 1:52 PM

I am praying and crossing fingers and toes for tomorrow’s debate as I did for the past 2 of them. It disturbs me to know that due to Obama’s horrific showing in Debate 1 that Romney will have to counter both Obama and MSM’s Candy Crowley.

But I am also hopeful. The crowds around Romney/Ryan are getting bigger. The R/R message is steady and strong and I think Romney is strong enough to plow through. Just over 3 weeks and counting!!

CoffeeLover on October 15, 2012 at 12:13 PM

A LOT of people/churches are praying.

PappyD61 on October 15, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Obama will come out yelling. All the Democrats agree Biden did a great job, and Obama has to also do a great job tomorrow. So expect Obama to do an imitation of Joe Biden. Unfortunately for the Dems, Obama just isn’t that good on his feet, so I also expect him to make a large number of mistakes. New mistakes, different mistakes, but mistakes. Anyone, like Obama, who thought he won the last debate is living in an alternate universe and simply will not make the changes needed to win. Now, he might be declared the winner by the likes of Chris Matthews, but to anyone not overly impressed by shouting he will be a clear loser tomorrow.

Fred 2 on October 15, 2012 at 1:57 PM

Not entirely true, the law they passed has a caveat to it, 2/3rd of all the states have to agree to that law before it goes into effect. They were hedging their bets on it.

SWalker on October 15, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Is it 2/3? I thought it was any number of states that are equal to or greater than 270 electoral votes.

NotCoach on October 15, 2012 at 1:27 PM

I just read the legislation as passed by California, and it ;looks like you are right. I thought I read it before and it stipulated 2/3rd of the states had to agree to it in order to prevent only 11 states from affecting the outcome of the bill.

Article 4. Other Provisions

This agreement shall take effect when states cumulatively
possessing a majority of the electoral votes have enacted this
agreement in substantially the same form and the enactments by such
states have taken effect in each state.
Any member state may withdraw from this agreement, except that a
withdrawal occurring six months or less before the end of a President’
s term shall not become effective until a President or Vice President
shall have been qualified to serve the next term.
The chief executive of each member state shall promptly notify the
chief executive of all other states of when this agreement has been
enacted and has taken effect in that official’s state, when the state
has withdrawn from this agreement, and when this agreement takes
effect generally.
This agreement shall terminate if the electoral college is
abolished.
If any provision of this agreement is held invalid, the remaining
provisions shall not be affected.

Currently only 8 states have approved the bill.

SWalker on October 15, 2012 at 2:00 PM

I think that the taxpayers will be on the hook for more than the cost of a U-haul, that is unless U-hauls can “drive” to Hawaii.

D-fusit on October 15, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Actually O’bamna mentioned something about an Intercontinental Railroad, didn’t he?

Del Dolemonte on October 15, 2012 at 2:23 PM

If Romney kicks behind like I expect him to tomorrow – I think someone might need to watch the people at MSNBC.

gophergirl on October 15, 2012 at 2:23 PM

Let’s not discount the great possibility of an October surprise yet.
slickwillie2001 on October 15, 2012 at 1:33 PM

The October surprises that target Romney or Ryan are already “baked in the cake”, so to speak.

They tried the better ones over the summer in their desperation to sink Romney early.

The only thing left is for 0bama to begin military operations somewhere, or a terrorist attack. That last one could be blamed on the TEA party.

Obama’s October surprise was sprung early when Benghazi started breaking.

It was the 47%

Axelrod was completely beside himself
they will try other things but it will look like pure desperation

audiotom on October 15, 2012 at 2:28 PM

Someone tell Todd to get away from the beach on NO-vember 6th…

ELECTORAL Tsunami inbound for Romney…

Khun Joe on October 15, 2012 at 2:37 PM

I’ll tell you more and more military members over here in AFG are starting to speak their mind about the CinC if he wins again there are many that are going to take the early out. So you see how that hurts America because some people cannot stand to serve under this guy and we are going to lose great quality people.

Go Romney!!!!

g2825m on October 15, 2012 at 2:54 PM

I have to change the channel whenever Chuck Re-todd is on.

flstc on October 15, 2012 at 2:54 PM

The “Today” show had the same theme.

It’s quite obvious what is going on. The “left” fully expects that Obama will be more successful Tuesday night. They need to mention (and in their minds, thus exaggerate) the movement of Romney.

This exaggeration can then be reversed,loudly and repetitively, starting Wednesday morning. They will exaggerate the movement back to Obama with the intent of getting the “I want to be on the winning side” voter. Also called the “herding effect”.

Simple ‘Psychology 101′ stuff. I briefly looked herein, but did not see that anyone else has identified this. Again the “left” is playing the “right” for fools. Watch and learn.

Carnac on October 15, 2012 at 2:59 PM

I honestly believe that Romney will win by larger margins than the media or even some conservatives believe. I’m thinking a 7-8 percent win!

g2825m on October 15, 2012 at 3:00 PM

I’ll tell you more and more military members over here in AFG are starting to speak their mind about the CinC if he wins again there are many that are going to take the early out. So you see how that hurts America because some people cannot stand to serve under this guy and we are going to lose great quality people.

Go Romney!!!!

g2825m on October 15, 2012 at 2:54 PM

The word back home (here) is that the state’s have done a lousy job of getting ballots to the military overseas, thus the military vote is going to be severely diminished this year.

Do you see that to be the true?

It wasn’t clear from your comment, but you must be serving to some affect in AFG, so Thank You for your service.

Carnac on October 15, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Obama cannot afford to lose either “debate”. But what does that mean? Expect plenty of lying. “Winning” or “losing” is all about style and appearance, not about debate points. I don’t underestimate Axe. He will stop at nothing. First, Obama will come on strong. The Manchurian candidate has been trained for this for years. Secondly, I think Axe will have a couple of surprises for Romney – either news of a new tape or just rumors or personal allegations about Romney.

chris999 on October 15, 2012 at 3:07 PM

Just listened to the video …..

Noticed Todd’s high-pitched voice inflection on the phrases “something that happened”, “I have to say”, and “I feel like”.

He is over-selling a message that he knows to be a setup for things to come. He doesn’t really believe what he is saying.

Wait for his messaging post-debate and his selling of the movement in the polls that will come thereafter.

Which means, of course, the polls are already being coordinated to move in lock-step with this messaging, as well. Even before the debate happens.

Watch and learn.

Carnac on October 15, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Carnac on October 15, 2012 at 3:07 PM

We have seen the stories over here that ballots are not as plentiful though they have been promoting the FVAP election website over here quite often.

I happen to take leave and came home and voted a few weeks ago in AZ so the R&R ticket has one punched for them in AZ which will go big for Romney anyway.

g2825m on October 15, 2012 at 3:36 PM

After Claiming First Debate Had Little Impact, NBC’s Todd Now Says Race ‘Shifted Fundamentally’
…yeah, we’ve all seen that movie before: It’s the videos’ fault. Then, once EVERYBODY sees the TRUTH, it’s never mind.
Of course, given the extremely short attention and memory span of most lunatic-leftists (yes, massive drug use does have consequences) they won’t be able to notice the changes that the rest of us see.

TeaPartyNation on October 15, 2012 at 4:22 PM

I can respect the nervous nellies’ comments going into tomorrow night, but what is your basis regarding Mitt? He has been very steady since GOP debate #1. He will be prepared for the 47% question some ‘bot spews out, rest assured. Other than that, it is Mitt that has yet to play the F&F, Keystone, Benghazi devlopments, Obamatax, etc. cards–they are still resting in his hand.

hillsoftx on October 15, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Not sure why people are worried that Romney won’t perform well. This is what he does. This is just another shareholder’s meeting or boardroom discussion. He’ll do fine on content. He’s probably aware he needs to look “nice” for the mush heads and will behave appropriately.

The nice thing is that Obama hasn’t a clue so will fail on the contrast and compare.

kim roy on October 15, 2012 at 4:49 PM

He will be prepared for the 47% question some ‘bot spews out,

Yup, the answer to that is the 53% that Obama is trying to make dependent upon the government. 47/53 matters not with Obama. He seeks to deny them all freedom and his policies can be easily seen in that direction (even ignoring his attack on personal conscience. Start and end with Obamacare is anti-freedom and an “Obama-nation” in a free nation!

Don L on October 15, 2012 at 5:00 PM

47% government school products. Mindlessly voting like good sheeple do.

acyl72 on October 15, 2012 at 6:09 PM

In North Carolina, absentee ballots breaking 2-1 in Romney’s favor”

the GOP points out they hold a nearly 2-to-1 advantage among the 128,668 voters who requested mail-in absentee ballots as of Friday.

http://www.wral.com/republicans-lead-in-absentee-ballot-request/11638433/

BigAlSouth on October 15, 2012 at 6:29 PM

I feel like a lot of people on our side are purposely saying “while the momentum is clearly on Romney’s side, this election is still extremely close” out of fear of putting a jinx on it (otherwise known as the “kenahora”).

I’m not buying it. Romney’s got this in the bag, and if I’m wrong, so what, I’m wrong. I’m not gonna hide my confidence
out of fear that I’ll wind up with egg on my face. This isn’t a football game, the future of the country is at stake here.

There are voters who took a chance on Obama who have serious buyer’s remorse. There are Moderate Democrats whose first choice was Hillary Clinton, who are disillusioned enough with Obama to pull the lever for an “un-scary” Republican like Romney. And there are lots and lots of people who felt good about voting for the 1st Black POTUS, who are fed up with hearing about racist dog whistles.

The writing is on the wall, and I think the more outward confidence we express, the more we’ll will our desired outcome to come true. So enough of all this “let’s not get cocky” crap. NO, let’s be cocky as hell, because the more cocky we are, the more demoralized the Libs will be in the final weeks.

ardenenoch on October 15, 2012 at 7:09 PM

Although, Romney did an excellent job in the last debate, the shift in the polls was likely more about voters seeing him unfiltered than Romney having a stellar performance. The Obama campaign have once again shot themselves in the foot. They slandered Romney only to have their campaign with egg on their face when voters discovered with their own eyes and ears that they were lying about Romney.

We have been saturated with all things Obama. Romney is essentially the new guy and everyone who has been told to fear him, is getting to learn about who he really is.

pjean on October 15, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Let’s not discount the great possibility of an October surprise yet.
slickwillie2001 on October 15, 2012 at 1:33 PM

The October surprises that target Romney or Ryan are already “baked in the cake”, so to speak.

They tried the better ones over the summer in their desperation to sink Romney early.

The only thing left is for 0bama to begin military operations somewhere, or a terrorist attack. That last one could be blamed on the TEA party.

cozmo on October 15, 2012 at 1:39 PM

I thought the failed faux hostage-taking episode of the ambassador in Libya which backfired when he was killed rather than allowing obama to make a big grandstand of “rescueing” him…….was the October surprise?

I also thought that’s why Axelrod looked so sick and green while being interviewed on Fox about this issue?
…..just my thoughts.

avagreen on October 16, 2012 at 9:58 AM

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